Barge Washes up at St. Andrews State Park

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - A hopper barge is beached along the jetties in St. Andrews State Park.

U.S. Coast Guard officials said it washed ashore early Wednesday morning.

A tugboat was pulling two barges near the pass  when one of the tow-lines snapped and allowed one to be pushed into the beach.

"We know the vessel. It's normal traffic route for them. They go from New Orleans or Mobile, Alabama and transfer it to Tampa for scrap metal," MST3 Brain Hanson said.

The tugboat captain initially wanted to tow the barge Wednesday afternoon, but six to seven foot seas delayed the process until Thursday morning or later.

"We want to make sure everyone is safe. That's our main concern so right now we're just devising a plan to get the line on and vessel towed out of here as quickly as possible," Hanson said.

The barge is empty so officials aren't concerned about environmental hazards.

They also said it's a good thing the barge settled where it did along the jetties so they didn't have to close the pass.

During the removal process, Coast Guard crews will shut down the beach as a safety precaution.




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A barge washed up on the beach at St. Andrews State Park Wednesday morning. 

The Coast Guard says the barge is empty and poses no threat. The barge was attached to a tugboat when a cable snapped. The tugboat is expected to pick up the barge and leave with it sometime today. 

Double Red Flags are flying along Panama City Beach and the beach is closed to swimmers. 

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